Monday, 25 October 2021

A Questionable Finish

The American tank industry finished WW2 in a strange position. On one hand, the Americans achieved an impressive amount. Starting the war with a few hundred light tanks and a few dozen medium ones, the Americans quickly caught up and in some ways even overtook the leading tank building nations of the world. The Medium Tank M4 was one of the finest medium tanks in the world when it was built. The Americans also achieved great things in SPG development. However, the Americans were in a difficult position by the end of the war. The looming crisis was not so obvious in 1945, but if one digs a bit deeper then the situation in American tank building begins to seem a lot more dire.

Friday, 22 October 2021

Mine Rollers

 "Order of the People's Commissariat of Defense #489s

Moscow
July 3rd, 1942

To complete the design of the mine rollers, I order that:

  1. Chief engineer of the Kirov factory comrade Makhonin and director of factory #100 comrade Voroshilov must produce a batch of 3 universal mine rollers compatible with the KV-1 and T-34 tanks.
    Chief engineer of the Kirov factory comrade Makhonin must:
    1. Use the design of the mine roller previously developed by the Kirov factory, NATI, and factory #174 in development of the new design.
    2. Conduct trials of the mine rollers jointly with GABTU representatives, complete them by August 10th, and present the results for review no later than August 12th.
  2. The 2nd department of the NKTP must develop a program for mine roller trials and get approval from the GABTU.
    Comrade Ginzburg is responsible for carrying out this order.
Deputy People's Commissar of Tank Production, Stepanov"

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

IS-4 Acceptance

 "Order of the Minister of Transport Machinebuilding of the USSR #122ss
Moscow
May 4th, 1946

Council of Ministers decree #961-403ss issued on April 29th, 1946, approved the proposal of the Minister of Transport Machinebuilding comrade Malyshev and Deputy Commander of Armoured and Mechanized Forces of the Red Army comrade Korobkov to accept the IS-4 heavy tank designed at the Kirov factory in Chelyabinsk built according to the tactical-technical characteristics listed in attachment #1 into service. The same decree mandates the Minister of Transport Machinebuilding comrade Malyshev and Director of the Kirov factory comrade Zaltsman to begin preparations for IS-4 heavy tank production to begin production in 1946.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Finland's "Elephant Gun"

Many nations searched for effective anti-tank weapons in the interbellum years. One of the most popular countermeasures was the anti-tank rifle. These rifles ranging in caliber from 7.92 to 20 mm were issued to infantry units. Finland also followed this path as it nervously observed the development of armoured vehicles by its eastern neighbour, the Soviet Union.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Tips for an Anti-Tank Rifleman

 Advice for anti-tank riflemen penned by Degtyaryev himself published in the Boyevoy Put' newspaper on May 13th, 1944.


Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Video: Italian M 14/41 Tank in Action

Aquino Tank Weekend hosted at the Ontario Regiment Museum often has a guest appearance from a vehicle owned by the Base Borden museum. Usually these are static displays, but this year visitors were presented with a running Italian M 14/41 medium tank. 



Monday, 11 October 2021

The First Soviet RPG

Widespread use of anti-tank rocket launchers by both the USSR's allies and enemies starting in 1943 forced it to expedite experimental work on these weapons. The first positive results were achieved in early 1944.

Friday, 8 October 2021

T-34 Rate of Fire Trials

 "March 1st, 1941
Approved by Proving Grounds Chief Colonel Romanov

Report on the experimental driver's observation device, ammunition racks, and commander's and loader's seats of the T-34 tank

...

Program of T-34 ammunition rack and rate of fire trials

1. Purpose of trial

  1. To determine the practical rate of fire in various conditions of operation.
  2. To determine the convenience of using the new ammunition rack.
  3. To test the convenience of loading with the loader's seat folded

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Video: T-34-85 in Action at Aquino Tank Weekend 2021

This T-34-85 tank was acquired by the Ontario Regiment Museum in 2019 and first shown in 2020. Since then it has been restored to working order and takes part in demonstrations and reenactments at the museum. This vehicle was originally produced at factory #112 in June of 1945.


Monday, 4 October 2021

On the Way to the Most Numerous American Tank

The Americans met the start of WWII with about a dozen Convertible Medium Tanks T4 and a handful of Medium Tanks M2. Despite this poor state of readiness, American industry made some important steps even before the war that let them make up this gap very quickly. While battles were raging in Europe, the US launched first the Medium Tank M2A1 then the Medium Tank M3 into production. Solutions worked out on these vehicles allowed the development of a new generation medium tank: the Medium Tank T6. This vehicle was standardized as the Medium Tank M4 on September 5th, 1941.